Permaculture 101

Unfortunately our 9 day Permaculture course at TAFE was cancelled due to a lack of interest. Worse news is that TAFE is no longer offering the course at all. We’ve since decided to attend a 2 day course at Milkwood Permaculture in Alexandria in December to help us along with our skills in developing and designing our sustainable garden.

When I mention that we’re developing a Permaculture garden many people say ‘what’s that?’ Well basically, Permaculture is a form of sustainable agriculture. It’s a system based and designed on natural ecosystems.

At the heart of Permaculture lies 3 ethics. The first one is ♥ care for the earth – the biosphere that is made up of the soil, vegetation, air and water. The second is ♥ care for people – yourself, family and community. The third is ♥ Fair share through setting limits to consumption and reproduction and sharing any surplus.

There are 12 Permaculture design principles which we will try to incorporate into the design and function of our garden. These tools will help us refine our perspectives and behaviour so we use less energy and resources with the aim of living more sustainably.

The 12 Permaculture design principles are:

  1. Observe and interact
  2. Catch and store energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback
  5. Use & value renewable resources & services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small & slow solutions
  10. Use & value diversity
  11. Use edges & value the marginal
  12. Creatively use & respond to change

So our goal is to create, design, manage and continually improve our sustainable garden, a garden that will integrate good function and design to ultimately produce an abundance of healthy organic non-poisonous food.  It will also be a place of beauty, harmony, colour and diversity and a garden for everyone to enjoy.

In a few short months we’ve learnt so much and although our backyard has a unique set of limitations we’re already thinking differently about where, what, how and why we’re putting things. I have no doubt we’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way and we can’t wait to make them all!

Here’s a little poem I wrote. Enjoy.

Our Permaculture…

creating a food forest in our backyard

is helping to secure a future safeguard

bringing in little apart from a mulcher

this is the story of our Permaculture…

our aim is to make our  garden sustainable

one step at a time makes it more attainable

patterns of nature and ecosystems

letting our minds follow natural rhythms

varieties of vegies and lots of fruit trees

invites the pollinators like small native bees

chook poo and comfrey are great for the soil

compost and worm juice provide the good oil

mulch on our garden stops things drying out

nutrients stay put and worms hang about

lunar seed planting is the best time to grow

waxing and waning let us know what to sew

bio-diversity is the key to success

lots of variety confuses the pests

companion planting and bed rotation

rain water tanks provide free irrigation

seed raising trays in the nursery abound

lots of bananas and paw paw to go ’round

water and sunshine and fresh eggs galore

spirals of herbs and chooks we adore

we hope you’re inspired by our little story

start your own journey and share in the glory


The collecting of pollen from our bok choi

3 responses to “Permaculture 101

  1. Now just add some chords so you can sings these wise words to all future generations Kath. I love it!

  2. Pingback: In the Zone | Ordinary 2 Extraordinary

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